Important Stretch Begins Now

Cowboys coach Bill Parcells took it upon himself to talk to his veterans about showing leadership to the young players this week.

He said this is an important time for the Cowboys, with Monday's showdown against the Eagles beginning a stretch of three games in 11 days.

The team's season could very well be decided by Thanksgiving.

The time is now for the Cowboys to focus on the task at hand and pay attention to detail.

"This is the time of year we really need that," Parcells said. "Some of these rookies haven't been in a game like Monday night is going to be. Monday night on the road, usually there's a little more juice involved. I just try to make sure the veterans are trying to keep the young players on track."

With all the distractions going on surrounding the Eagles and Terrell Owens, it's an even more important point.

The Cowboys expect a motivated Eagles team and a raucous crowd awaiting them Monday night at Lincoln Financial Field.

And while the Eagles will certainly miss Owens, the Cowboys say Philadelphia remains a dangerous offensive team, especially with Donovan McNabb at quarterback and Brian Westbrook in the backfield.

Look for the Cowboys to approach the Eagles with same respect and the same game plan.

"McNabb is always dangerous," cornerback Aaron Glenn said. "No matter what happens, that team remains one of the top teams in the league. They have people that can make plays. They are going to do what they do. We can't change our approach."

Rookie Reggie Brown replaced Owens against the Eagles and caught five passes for 94 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown reception.

"That guy they put in there did a pretty good job," Parcells said. "He looked pretty good to me."

SERIES HISTORY: 93rd meeting. Dallas leads the series 52-40. Dallas has faced no team more than Philadelphia and has defeated the Eagles more times (52) than all but two teams (Arizona, 55, and Washington, 54). Dallas and Philadelphia have met in two divisional playoff games and an NFC Championship Game. The Cowboys won 11 consecutive games over the Eagles from 1967-1972, marking the second-longest win streak over one opponent in club history. Dallas and Philadelphia have combined to win 21 NFC Eastern Division titles. Philadelphia has won three of the last four head-to-head battles, but the Cowboys won 33-10 on Oct. 9 at Texas Stadium.

BY THE NUMBERS: 7-4 - Record of Bill Parcells-coached teams coming out of bye weeks: Giants 1-0, Patriots 2-3, Jets 3-0, Cowboys 1-1.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We have three kids I'll put in the game, and I think they can all carry the ball. I think you better get used to that around here." - Coach Bill Parcells on his three-headed rushing attack of Julius Jones, Marion Barber and Tyson Thompson.

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